Application Development Lead

Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston, MA


Motif makes ingredients for the next generation of plant-based and healthy foods.  Launched in February 2019 from Ginkgo Bioworks’ breakthrough platform for biological engineering, we use fermentation to brew vital proteins and nutrients that power your body and please your palate.  We collaborate with chefs, health experts, and food visionaries to create new building blocks for tomorrow’s food revolution. Motif combines tradition, innovation, and biotechnology to help build a more sustainable future, for everyone.

The Application Development Lead will ensure that Motif has access to a broad set of food application model systems to test the performance of new ingredients that predict performance in actual products.   Reporting directly to the CEO, this individual will oversee partner identification, contract procurement, experimental design, data gathering/analysis, and presentation. He/She will be responsible for getting product prototypes available for customer, partner, and investor meetings.  Further, this individual will support decisions on the advancement of new ingredients, as well as sales and marketing.


  • Design experiments to test the functionality of Motif’s ingredients in the most appropriate product model systems
  • Build collaborations with external labs, test kitchens, and sensory science organizations for testing new ingredients 
  • Analyze application data to make product advancement recommendations
  • Capture scientific insights for future product discovery and to create Motif’s intellectual property 
  • Produce product prototypes for customer and other external presentations
  • Present data on applications at conferences and meetings
  • Partner with market development to create understanding of customer/consumer needs 
  • Identify forums and meetings to build Motif’s scientific presence and recruit talent

Pivotal Experience & Expertise

  • PhD or BS/MS in Food Science or related field
  • 10+ years of industry experience in food science, flavor science, food engineering, and/or sensory science
  • In-depth knowledge of food product development, protein functionality in food, and food applications
  • Experience in development, test, and characterization models for protein food ingredients
  • Strong network of collaborators in the food science space (both academic and industrial)
  • Expertise in a broad set of food applications, including beverages, snacks, meat, meat alternatives, dairy-based products, and other solid food forms
  • Knowledge of food functionality beyond proteins
  • Understanding of sensory science and the use of testing to advance best candidates
  • Superior knowledge of the economics of the food industry, so as to focus efforts on commercially viable projects and programs
  • Ability to write manuscripts and patents, and prepare presentations

Leadership Capabilities

  • Is a self-starter
  • Can work effectively in a team setting
  • Is biased to action
  • Is data-driven and grounded in analytical thinking
  • Is culturally sensitive and promotes diversity of all kinds
  • Is able to derive value in promoting others
  • Is team over self-motivated
  • Can communicate at multiple levels
  • Is comfortable with discoveries occurring externally

Culture Fit & Impact

  • Understands how to work in a rapidly growing start-up
  • Able to deal effectively with ambiguity and changing priorities
  • Thrives under pressure and desires to learn and grow
  • Mission-driven and interested in transforming the food industry 
To learn more about Motif Ingredients, click on the links below:

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the organism company. We design custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation. Organism engineers at Ginkgo learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.

Want to learn more about Ginkgo Bioworks? Visit Ginkgo Bioworks's website.